Good tidings to you…(holiday goodies part I)

2012-12-09 13.38.43I have already confessed to not being the most twinkling of Christmas stars or the jolliest of good fellows.  I have admitted to feeling too auld for the lang syne.  But even for me, hum-bugger that I am, there are a few year-end traditions that I look forward to.  One is the proliferation of best of/worst of lists that multiply like bunnies at the end of the year.  Another is the ubiquitous In Memorium homages to people and other things we’ve said good-bye to in the previous 12 months (who wants to bet that Twinkies will be in the top 10 this year?)  And, if I finish my Christmas shopping on time, I plan to address them in another post.

But first, let’s tackle the holiday newsletter.

Every year I do a photo calendar for the grandparents.  It’s exhausting.  I have admitted in these pages to being slightly neurotic, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that uploading and captioning a year’s worth of pictures is a big job for me.  Winter pictures need to go in the winter months. Only.  There has to be an equal number of pictures of each child on each page, and preferably a decent shot of the two of them together that doesn’t involve swords.  You get the idea.  So I can’t imagine how much work goes into one of those family newsletters.  There’s layout to consider and pictures to upload, not to mention winnowing a year’s worth of news until it all fits neatly onto an 8×10 sheet of paper.

But here’s the thing.  With the possible exception of The Untimely Demise of Hammy the Hamster, most of those newsletters are filled with tidbits and anecdotes and other tidings of great joy.  Which is great.  Except….I don’t trust people who don’t complain, just a little, about their children or their spouses (or hamsters for that matter).  Perhaps it is more proper to adopt an attitude of positivity, perhaps it is easier to go through life inside a bubble of good cheer.  Hell, it’s undoubtedly healthier.  But I don’t trust it.  Yes, it’s great that Kenny Jr.’s little league team won the trophy, but there is a part of me that would rather hear about how the Dad on the sidelines had an apoplexy when the umpire made a dodgy call, how the car broke down on the way home from the game, and the kids fought the whole way and you had to pull over and threaten to leave them on the side of the highway.  Think how boring the Karenina’s newsletter would have been if Tolstoy had made them a happy family.

I like a good inspirational story as much as the next cynic, but oh how I would love to see an annual newsletter come with a codebreak, like the ones you see on the back of cereal boxes so that you could read the real story behind the Times New Roman 12 pt. font.

Codebreak in blue


Dearest friends!

We can’t believe another year has come and gone!  As always, we have had a full and exciting year and can’t wait to share it with you (it was the never-ending year from hell), so enclosed please find our 2012 newsletter!!!  The dear children are growing up so quickly.  Little Kenny, bless him, lost another tooth (in a fist fight during recess) and is certainly living up to his teacher’s confidential assertion that he is one of the most spirited children she’s ever worked with (if he survives into adolescence it will be a miracle). Where does he get his energy?  If only we could bottle it!!   Skipper triumphed as the lead in her kindergarten production of The Three Little Pigs.  Her casting as an evil, hirsute creature was an inspired choice, if not a somewhat perplexing one.  (Please, please don’t let her end up on Teen Moms 9).  Congratulations to Big Ken, as he has been promoted and is now Vice-President of the vice-presidency of oversight and independent consulting management for the Vice-President of XXX, Inc.  Well done, Big Ken!  (I know you are only pretending to stay late at the office so you don’t have to come home to the chaos).  Oh, and little old me?  Well, you know me, the little engine that could.  I just keep chugging along (mostly wine and beer).  As soon as I get the Dr.’s go-ahead (prescribed antidepressants), I am looking to start my New Year’s resolution of regaining my girlish figure (liposuction and a boob job).

We had a great time during our annual family cruise this year.  The trip was filled with hijinks (Jr. falling overboard) and fun (I got drunk gave the Captain a lap dance) and we made many new friends we can’t wait to visit (all of our cards have been returned, marked unknown recipient).

In sadder news, poor Romeo, our pet turtle, has finally succumbed to the tortoise blight that’s been plaguing him for the last few months.  He passed peacefully, but we did have an emergency call in to the plumber when we found Kenny Jr. trying to give him a ‘burial at sea’!  (There goes the promotion bonus).  He is such a kidder, that boy!

Well, as always, we wish you all a healthy and happy New Year! (Thank God this year is almost over)

Love, Barbie, Ken, Kenny Jr. and Skipper Jones (My husband is getting strange text messages from someone named Brandii, my kids are driving me crazy and I’m so bored I spent three weeks researching what font to use for this newsletter.  Help me now.)


Every December I’m tempted to do one, but I’m actually afraid of what it would contain.  Both on and in-between the lines.

Then again, it’s really no different from penning a blog, is it?

2012-12-09 13.52.40

9 Comments Add yours

  1. yourothermotherhere says:

    Funny, funny and now I’m inspired for next year! (I already sent out my Christmas cards–well, almost all of them!)


    1. dhonour says:

      Thanks! I shall be looking for my newsletter in the post next year….


      1. yourothermotherhere says:



  2. Sally says:

    I actually met a real life woman called Barbie from Tennessee in Stockholm during the summer. She was a singer on a cruise ship and we sat next to her on a bus in town. Best American accent ever, made my year!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. dhonour says:

    Reblogged this on Wine and Cheese (Doodles) and commented:

    12 Days of Blog Posts? I think I need to do a letter this year.


  4. I have several friends who send these, and I don’t find them off-putting. They’re all pretty creative. But I understand what you mean. My mother-in-law’s brother does one that’s just insufferable.


    1. dhonour says:

      The few I get, which are funny and sarcastic and poking fun of themselves are forms of art. It’s the other kind that make you laugh. It’s a fine line between accentuating the positive and portraying a life so perfect it seems like a satire–finding that balance is the art. I’m glad your friends (and mine) are in the sweet spot!


  5. Oh man, I am so glad none of my friends write such things, though your “codebreak” version made me laugh. I would love to get a letter like that in the mail!


    1. dhonour says:

      The ones that I get are funny and self-deprecating, without the need to ‘toot’ too many horns, but the stereotype is always the ‘brag letters’, which are the ones I’m making fun of here. It’s like a page long Facebook Status update from that one smiley, happy friend who is always and forever looking on the bright side of life, to the point of making you scratch your head at times!


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